Re: [ISN] Warchalking is theft, says Nokia

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Sep 19 2002 - 23:48:52 PDT

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    Forwarded from: hobbitat_private (*Hobbit*)
       Warchalking, ... can be accessed freely, has been blasted as theft.
    What total rot.
    What if a company with a large campus provided a bunch of bicycles for
    employees to quickly get between buildings, and some outsiders came in
    and occasionally "borrowed" a few bicycles for their own uses?  Would
    the company have a leg to stand on if it didn't take even a *token*
    step to limit usability of said bicycles to employees only?  [I don't
    know, some sort of simple permanently-affixed lock to prevent wheel
    rotation that staff is given a key for would suffice.]
    What if the bicycles are a wireless cloud, and the common key is WEP,
    that makes the simple statement that "the resource is really for
    authorized employee use only and we'd really rather not have you
    muckin' about with it if you don't work here?"  Not particularly hard
    to defeat, but is just enough to keep the honest people in line with
    the caveat that their data isn't *private* unless they also use some
    kind of end-to-end encryption.
    Additional messages about usage can be sent by blocking tcp 25
    outbound -- again, not hard to get around, but requires that someone
    perform an obvious act of subterfuge to do so.  If such measures are
    cheap to implement and go a long way toward limiting the perceived
    risk of a completely open environment, why would the company spend all
    its time going around publicly blustering about "theft" instead of
    simply using the token locking mechanisms?  Cripes. *Nokia*, of all
    outfits, should know better.
    The thing *I* don't understand about warchalking is that it would seem
    much easier to just re-sniff the air yourself than to run around
    looking for faded chalk marks on the front of a building, and then
    trying to interpret what exactly the last passing hobo meant by it.  
    What's the point, when you can tell exactly what's up from a block
    away instead of parading back and forth in front of the building's
    security guard staring at the walls?  "War" is about *not* making it
    obvious what you're up to.
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